On Wednesday I went on a field trip! I went with about 50 students to an archaeological site about 15 minutes away from the school. It would be akin to a class going to Sunwatch Indian Village in Dayton, except for the fact that Sunwatch was built around 1050 A.D. and La Motilla was in use during the Bronze age from 2200-1500 B.C., which makes it almost 3,000 years older...
I haven't seen any regular school buses here in Spain, but if students needed transported they use charter buses usually. So we took a charter bus and our driver seemed to me to be the most talented and fearless bus driver in the world. I have no idea how he navigated the tiny streets of Daimiel where my school is, or did a 3 point turn around a roundabout while getting within inches of buildings and other cars. I was a little afraid for my life, but the adventure continued as we turned off on an UNMARKED DIRT ROAD to get to the site. I don't know how you would visit if you were just a tourist on your own because there's no signage for it until you get there. We squeezed through a small gate and we had made it.
We split in to two groups and we had a tour guide for each. The tour was of course in Spanish, so I understood different information based on how far away I was standing from the guide and how well I could hear her. When I got home I looked it up too so I could fill in my gaps.
Here's a couple articles that describe the fortification:
Outside of the 50m wide fortification was a small settlement for about 100 people which extended to a 50m radius from the walls. La Motilla has the oldest known well on the Iberian Peninsula! There is also a necropolis/burial ground area within the settlement. Those buried there were found in the fetal position, and from what I got from the tour guide was supposed to signify the person returning to the comfort of the womb of Mother Earth (or something like that...). The walls were of course to protect the people and their water, provide a space for them to process different crops, produce pottery and other artifacts, and sometimes keep livestock. They ate lots of different kinds of animals, including dogs and horses! (eek)
Here's the well:
The different colors show how high the water was at one point.
This was really interesting, but again it's hard to wrap my mind around how old it really is!
Here's a cool video that shows you the whole thing.